11/26/96 Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune
Steve Hindi walked out of McHenry County Jail Monday afternoon ending his abbreviated 6-month confinement and 11-day-old hunger strike.
Hindi, 42, was released by Judge James Franz on $50,000 bond after an Illinois Appellate Court ruling Friday ordered that Hindi no longer be held without bail.
Hindi had been sentenced by Franz to 6 months without bond on Nov. 6 on a charge of criminal contempt of court, following an Oct. 12 fly-over on a parasail at the Woodstock Hunt Club designed to disrupt hunters gathered below. Protesting his incarceration, Hindi launched a hunger strike Nov. 15.
Franz had issued a temporary restraining order directed at Hindi and his Chicago Animal Rights Coalition, banning their disruption of the hunt club activities.
Earl Johnson, owner of the hunt club, died of a heart attack Nov. 13.
In setting the bond, a clearly nettled Franz said Monday that he was doing so because "I am ordered by the Appellate Court to set an appeal bond. The hunger strike means nothing to me."
Franz said that as a condition of the bond, Hindi must agree to stay beyond 1,000 feet of the club--"and that means air space as well."
Matthew Litvak, attorney for the hunt club, suggested that the bond should have been set at $100,000.
Fellow activist, Greg Campbell charged that authorities did not follow proper procedures inarresting Hindi, adding, "We don't break the law. We know where the line is."
Hindi praised the jail staff as "very professional" and said that although he felt "a little weak," it was "nothing a few meals won't cure."
"I'm very happy to be out, and I'm excited to go see my girls," referring to his 6- and 11-year-old daughters. "I missed them very much."